There is a bit of confusion about search engine optimization. Some people think that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is nothing more than tricking search engines into giving a high ranking to a particular website. Others think that search engine optimization is so complicated that they cannot understand it. Neither of these views is correct. Search engine optimization is best defined as the art and science of creating websites that are both search engine friendly and user friendly.
Below are the four basic steps you should take when optimizing your website.
1. Your web design should emphasize text and not graphics.
“Search engine friendly” means that search engines should be able to find data on your site that they can put into their databases. While a picture may be worth a thousand words, a search engine tries to sort pages by text rather than images. If you have a landing page with a beautiful picture of the sea and only two words of text “enter here”, that page will not rank high in Florida vacation searches. Similarly, if you have a headline with important text containing your site’s keywords, it should not appear as a gif or jpeg image. Sites that are all flash or all images are not search engine friendly and often not user friendly either.
2. Links to your interior pages should be easy for search engines to find
3. Your site should be built around specific keywords or key phrases
Robot search engines and human users have one thing in common: they are trying to find out what your website or your specific webpage is about. It is not possible to get high rankings for thirty different search terms with only one website. However, it is possible to create separate websites that explain and emphasize different aspects of your organization’s activities. These subpages can be optimized to perform well for searches for your various keywords.
4. Once your material is organized, keywords should appear in strategic parts of your website
If your website is about Florida vacations, these words should appear in the following places on your html pages:
A. In the file name or URL.
If your site is called www.floridavacations.com, it will give you a head start in searches for that term. Similarly, if your company is called XYZ Travels, you might have a website with this URL: www.xyztravels.com/floridavacations.html
A URL or file name is an important indicator for a search engine, so don’t miss the opportunity to include an important term either in your main domain name or in your file names.
b. In the brand name
The text that appears in the blue bar at the top of the browser is your title tag. The title tag is located in the document section. If your keyword is “Florida Vacations”, then the title tag in your html document should look something like this: Florida Vacations: Florida Vacation Information by XYZ travel
C. In the Description tab
The description tag is not visible on the web page, but search engines often display it as text that gives the searcher an idea of what your page is about. The description tag should be compelling and get someone to click through to see your page, while also containing the keywords that are in your URL and your title tag. A descriptive tag for this site might look like this:
d. In the subtitles
Just as someone reading a newspaper looks at the headlines to find out what is important, a search engine bot looks at the headlines of a web page to find out the basic feature of that page. Put your main phrase in the headline and place it at the top of the page. Heading text should be enclosed with special header tags such as , , . A headline for our hypothetical site might read: Florida Vacations: Plan Your Vacation Now and Save Money or Florida Accommodation, Entertainment & Transportation
If you don’t like the look of the h1 tag, use a smaller h2 or h3 tag or edit your site
stylesheet to display the h1 tag in a small font that better matches your body text.
E. In the body of your page
Your main keywords or key phrases should appear in the first paragraph of the text and naturally throughout the text as well as at the bottom of the page. In normal writing, you would first introduce your subject, then explain what it is about, and conclude with a summary. Do the same when you start writing your web page. Pages written in this style will automatically have the correct keyword density and distribution.
F. In the anchor text of your page
Anchor text is the clickable part of the links on your web page. Let’s say you’re describing your vacation in Florida and want to direct website visitors to an internal page with more information about that topic. Instead of a link that says “click here”, it would be better to have a link that says “Click here for more information on Florida vacations” or better yet, the link text will just be “Florida Vacations” and “click”. here” will be rendered as normal text.
If you follow these search engine optimization steps when building your website, you’ll end up with a website that’s easy for your visitors to understand and easy for search engines to rank and index.